NPR logo James P. Johnson's 'Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody'

James P. Johnson's 'Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody'

James P. Johnson's 'Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody'

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Hear Johnson's 'Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody'

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After his friend George Gershwin had such success with "Rhapsody in Blue," James P. Johnson thought he'd try his hand at writing a piece for jazz piano and orchestra. Johnson's piece is called "Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody." It has some of the same exuberent bubble and bounce you might know from the Gershwin and it makes a fascinating counterpoint to "Rhapsody in Blue."

We have a concert performance by pianist Gary Hammond, with Richard Rosenberg conducting the Hot Springs Festival Chamber Orchestra from Hot Springs, Ark.